The idea of Secularism in the Indian Constitution

 “What is Secularism?”

 The word secularism was begotten by George Holyoake (1817-1906) while distributing an articulation of mainstream precept in an issue of Reasoner in 1851. [1]  He states that secularism is the teaching that profound quality ought to be founded exclusively on respect to the well being of humanity in the present life to the rejection of all contemplations attracted from the conviction of god or in a future state.

The word secular is used generically of anything that is separate from religion. Jean Baubérot sees secularism as made up of three parts:

 ● division of religious organizations from the foundations of the state and no mastery of the political circle by religious establishments;

● opportunity of idea, inner voice, and religion for all, with everybody allowed to change their convictions and show their convictions inside the breaking points of open request and the privileges of others;

● no state victimization anybody on grounds of their religion or non-religious perspective, with everybody accepting equivalent treatment on these grounds.

Secular State is defined by Donald Eugene Smith as –

The Secular state is a state which ensures individual and corporate of religion, manages individual as a religion independent of his religion, isn’t unavoidably associated with specific religion nor does it tries to advance or meddle with specific religion.[2]

A Secular State has no religion of its own as perceived religion of State and it treats all religion similarly.

“Concept of Sarv Dharma Sama bhava and Secularism

Swami Vivekananda was a defender of a multicultural country established in religious resistance and advancement. He lectured the possibility of Sarv Dharma Sama bhava ( all religion lead to the same goal), which translates equality of all religion while talking at Parliament of World Religions in Chicago. Ramakrishna and Mahatma Gandhi also embraced this concept of pluralism of religion and Positive Secularism. Mahatma Gandhi was a staunch supporter of Secularism, he himself quoted that :

Religion is an individual issue which ought to have no spot in governmental issuesin 1942

The term secularism is also akin to Vedic concept of ‘Dharma nirpekshta.’

“Secularism and the Indian Constitution”

  • The Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act, 1976, has inserted the word ‘Secular’ in the Preamble, which came into force on 3rd January 1977. Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has had the credit of inserting the word ‘secular’ in the constitution during the time of emergency.
  •  Being a Secular State does not mean that India is an irreligious or atheist state, but it simply means that it is neutral/unbiased in matters related to religion.
  •  In S.R. Bommai v. Union Of India,[3] Supreme court held that “secularism is a basic component of the constitution.”
  • In Indira v. Rajnarain[4], an essential component of secularism was clarified by Hon’ble Supreme Court which held that secularism means the state will have no religion of its own and all individual of the nation ought to be similarly qualified for the opportunity of their soul and have the privilege uninhibitedly to pronounce, proliferate and practice any religion.
  • While Article 14 awards correspondence under the watchful eye of the law and equivalent assurance of the laws to all, Article 15 develops the idea of secularism to the amplest conceivable degree by disallowing segregation on grounds of religion, race, station, sex or spot of birth.
  • Article 16 (1) ensures uniformity of chance to all residents in issues of open business and repeats that there would be no separation based on religion, race, position, sex, drop, the spot of birth and home.
  • Article 25 gives ‘Opportunity of Conscience’, that is, all people are similarly qualified for the opportunity of heart and the privilege to uninhibitedly maintain, practice and proliferate religion.
  • According to Article 26, each religious gathering or individual has the option to build up and keep up foundations for religious and magnanimous purposes and to deal with its very own issues in issues of religion.
  • According to Article 27, the state will not force any resident to cover any regulatory expenses for the advancement or support of a specific religion or religious foundation.

Threats to Secularism”-

For the last few years concept of Secularism is discussed and debated extensively. Critiques of Secularism have admitted that challenges to secularism may arise from the way it is being practised. The secularism of the state and of the general public is recognized by many. The State, as bound by the Constitution and lawful system is mainstream; however, the secularism of society is an alternate issue. Issues emerge in light of the fact that different sorts of communalism are attempting to disintegrate and activate the establishments of our Constitutional structure.  Prejudice dependent on position and religion are profoundly implanted in our general public are so profoundly installed that they can’t be ousted by just imprinting in the constitution.

The major threats to Secularism are –


Communalism has demonstrated to be an extraordinary danger to the common texture of Indian country. As per Donald Eugene Smith[5], it is an industrious faithfulness to caste and religion which will, in general, undermine a mainstream state every step of the way. Common loyalties effectively prompt shared contentions and this enormously complemented by an immature economy where there will never be sufficient of anything to go around. Communal competitions are endemic in India and can without much of a stretch eject it into a brutal clash.

It is broadly understood that communalism in India was conceived, supported and advanced by the British colonialism as a deliberative plan to plant disagreements. It served the provincial organization to ‘divide and rule’ and along these lines, the common religions contrasts were first used to extend the social and social varieties and after that to advance political divisions by treating Indian however as individuals from religious networks.


British India was separated into the medieval realms and religious networks. The British overseers made division and strains between these networks. The mutual governmental issues were supported by them. A voter was named a Hindu or a Muslim and so on as was an applicant and agent. It is in this chronicled setting that communalism came to get the importance of being paired to national character, of being against the secularization procedure, of being too barely and adversely joined to one’s very own religious group.

The portion of independent electorates for minorities advanced the sentiments of communalism. In this manner, ‘communal politics’ was started into the Indian body politic. It neutralized the thought of national personality or national interests by appending a lot of significance, to one’s very own religious network and that effect on the psyches of individuals and demonstrated harming to the rising body politic of India. The partition of India in 1947 affirms the reality.

Indeed, even after India’s freedom, no solid measures were taken to contain communalism. The imbalances in the public arena – apparent in huge scale neediness and joblessness – brought disappointment among the denied classes who, thus, took on the mental of communalism to get comfort. The underlying years after 1947 were generally quiet in view of upgrades in all fields yet such quiet was fleeting. Hindu and Muslim communalism restored during the 1970s and by and by legislative issues started to create around a religious issued. The Babri Masjid-Ram Janambhoomi issue gave a crisp catalyst to the ascent of communalism. Like every common issue, the Babri case is likewise a religious issue just at a shallow level; the genuine thought process of the collective powers included is control and misuse of religion for political finishes.

Likewise, in the Shah Bano case[6], the legislators respected the weight of fundamentalist Muslim sentiment and much against the letter and soul of established statutes of secularism and equivalent equity for all. The Muslim Women (Protection nonattendance of any extreme program to check communalism by the administration, the disappointment of left gatherings to keep themselves detached from collective governmental issues and appointive impulses are factors that have energized the development of communalism in autonomous India. Added to this is the laxity of state mechanical assemblies, for the most part, the police, in fighting communalism.

Communalism is a social illness which should be countered with the goal that standards of solidarity, trustworthiness, secularism, majority rule government, equivalent rights and an equitable and empathetic culture can be reestablished. Bipin Chandra gives certain long haul and momentary measures to address the difficulties of communalism.

Secularism, State and Political parties

The sacred thought of secularism must be realized only if State arrangements are in consonance with it. It is essential to keep up conscientious lack of bias between various religion. The arrangements embraced by Indian State uncover double nature . on one side falsehood the mainstream decrees and endeavours to counter communalism and on the opposite side introduces a running string of trade-off and legitimating of mutual powers. Strategies of the state differ as per political circumstance, driving decision gathering to play Hindu-Muslim card as conditions request.

Blending of Religion and Politics that is the preparation of decisions on grounds of primordial personalities like religion, standing and ethnicity is one more danger. The religion of the majority’s share in electorate importantly affects the decision of up-and-comer. This pattern isn’t just trailed by Rightist gatherings however by moderate and radical gatherings too.

Personal laws and Secularism

Another issue is the position of religious individual laws in the lawful structure of our nation. All citizens ought to be represented by various legacy laws is a chronological error without a doubt in present-day India and is against the key standard of secularism. The mandate rule that State will attempt to verify uniform common code for every one of its natives is far-reaching in its suggestion.[7] The idea of the Constitution is to strip Hinduism and Islam of the socio-lawful establishment which has recognized them as all-out lifestyles, to lessen these two extraordinary religious frameworks to their centre of private confidence, love and practice.


Secularism is the main method for advancement in a plural society like our own. Secularism starts in the core of each person. There ought to be no inclination of “otherness” as we as a whole have is a mutual history. India being a conventional society that contains not one, however, numerous customs owing their birthplace to some degree to the various religions that exist here have so far figured out how to hold the common character of its nation. Our own is a general public where Sufis and Bhakti holy people have acquired a social acknowledgement for one another. Are we going to release everything to waste and tune in to individuals who have worry for their vocations as government officials or pioneers as opposed to our welfare at our hearts?



[3] AIR 1994 SC 1918. 

[4] 1975 AIR S.C 2299


[6] AIR 1985SC 945


8 thoughts on “The idea of Secularism in the Indian Constitution

  • Sep 9, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    It should be taken into matter that Only some have access to this fundamental right . Be it because of the power or fat bank account they have. They supress the commoners and underprivileged. Bring it on public domain.
    A nice piece of article.

  • Sep 9, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    Quite a good and informative article.

  • Sep 9, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    Very informative and well drafted

  • Sep 9, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    Thanks! Just what I needed

  • Sep 13, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Very nice thought.

  • Sep 13, 2020 at 8:23 pm

    This is very important to our society to we need to understand about these topics which are very typical as you have given some of the examples and your own thoughts but we need to raise it in a publicly way people just appreciate and then forget about it all but we need to consider about this topic dowry system and all are some of the critical problem which are arising day by day we see everyone is well qualified but their thinking a very critical this is very informative thanks for your thoughts I hope you will rise many more topics


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